Augusta employees concerned with post office move

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Several U.S. Postal Service employees based in Augusta voiced concern at a Tuesday meeting regarding a proposal to move part of its processing operations to Columbia.

A public meeting was held to reveal initial results of an area mail-processing study done in February, which showed consolidating all outgoing mail services from the Augusta Processing and Distribution Center to the one in Columbia would increase efficiency and improve productivity.

The plan could save the Postal Service more than $550,000, but it would likely affect seven jobs at the Augusta center, said North Florida District Manager Eric Chavez.

"It saves in overall cost and boosts our efficiencies, also," he said.

Change is necessary to match up against competitors and adapt to advances in technology, according to information provided in the Postal Service presentation.

In the past decade, the number of first-class pieces of mail has dropped from 50 billion to 30 billion, Chavez said.

While retail and other services wouldn't change as a result of the consolidation, first-class mail sent from Augusta to Louisiana, Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri and southern Florida would shift from two- to three-day delivery.

After a short video and presentation, those in the audience were asked for their input.

Karen Gilmore, with the American Postal Workers Union, said the change could cause Augusta and smaller communities to lose their local identity and create delays for people who receive medicine and payments by mail.

Many in attendance were not pleased when they found out they could only give feedback at the meeting and not receive answers.

Chris Doucet, who works in the maintenance department at the Augusta postal facility, said people won't want to send mail to another city when they can take it themselves that same day.

About 50 people attended the meeting, which was held at the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center. Chavez said afterward that the Postal Service tried to hold the meeting at the Augusta-Richmond County Library and an Augusta college, but both were booked.

Freda Tylor said she was thankful that she had the chance to voice her opinion.

"I, for one, do appreciate that y'all are trying to make the change because it does make a different in my and my husband's retirement from the Postal Service," said Tylor, a retired Augusta mail clerk.

Have your say

Public comments will be accepted through July 27 and can be sent to Consumer Affairs Manager, P.O. Box 4005, Jacksonville, FL 32203-0005.

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TK3 07/12/11 - 11:35 pm
Appears to be a waste of time

Appears to be a waste of time and breath folks as the Post Office made up their little minds almost a year ago and the rest is just for show. One can't be sure if they care less if you to go more out of your way or that your mail will be a day or two slower (be sure to mail that credit card payment in even-earlier:) or your check will take longer to get to you but you can be sure of one thing, that is the rates will go up.

Magda1129 07/13/11 - 12:13 am
In the mid-1950s, a

In the mid-1950s, a first-class letter with a three-cents stamp, could be mailed in Augusta and delivered to the recipient in New York City two days later. Talk about progress!

dickworth1 07/13/11 - 03:58 am
All subdivisions should have

All subdivisions should have centralized mail boxes like most apartment
building. This will cut down on fuel cost, labor cost, and the number of carriers needed. Budgets are at a premium in this tough economy and
the postal service should be trimmed to save taxpayers money. I am
doing my best to help cut cost by using email to pay my bills, now if I could stop the junk mail my mail person could come once a week.

treerock 07/13/11 - 06:46 am
check your facts, the post

check your facts, the post office receives no tax dollars. if you don't like their service, use that free market economy to choose someone else to deliver that letter for 42 cents.

seenitB4 07/13/11 - 06:58 am
0 is 44 cents is 44 cents now...We do have some great workers at the post office.....thankyou.

Riverman1 07/13/11 - 10:14 am
Interesting that the Augusta

Interesting that the Augusta Post Office employees had their meeting in Columbia County :). But, I'm sorry, guys, I'd not only close the Augusta facility, I'd also close the Columbia one. With email and UPS/FedX, the post office has gone the way of beta max.

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